My Mary Child

Tonight, our oldest daughter, Julie and I talked by phone. We were catching up on details of her upcoming trip and the logistics for transporting her boys from her house to our house. This weekend, Julie and her husband, Scott and their youngest child, Ella, are about to embark on a very important trip — a trip that will forever change their lives. They are off to Texas to meet the newest member of their family (and ours), a toddler named Paris. Julie, by nature is typically effervescent, but tonight her level of excitement, mixed with anticipation and some anxiety were at fever pitch. I am trying with little success to find the words to describe how I feel about this beautiful young woman. We have been together since she was ten and I was 34. Now, 26 years later, I marvel at the journey that Julie and I have taken — from love at first sight, to loving in ordinary ways, to teen angst and wicked stepmother stories, to hopeful reconciliation and eventually to love, joy and pride.

Julie and Scott married young; Mark was born when Julie was 20. I wondered and worried whether these two young people could cope with the challenges ahead of them. Neither of their parents were successful in their first marriages; it seemed the odds were stacked against them. And, even though most of us didn’t speak our concerns out loud to one another, I knew it was on all of our minds.

Never underestimate the grace of God. Almost seventeen years later Julie’s and Scott’s union is one most would envy. Over the years they’ve raised three beautiful children, they’ve scrimped and saved, they’ve gone to school nights to get their respective degrees, and they’ve moved from a small apartment to house one (a foreclosure model) to house two to the beautiful home they now have. Every home project is a work of love that continues to make their house a home. They beam with pride when you visit and are eager for you to see the fruits of their labor.

We all know, though, that their greatest labors of love are their three extraordinary children, Mark, 16, Cameron, 12 and Ella, almost 8. I am in love with these kids – they are true points of light in my life. I never imagined that the birth of her children, most notably Mark, would forge the strong bond she and I share. May I just say that Julie is a “mom’s mom.” She loves her kids more than life itself. She is the oldest of many siblings, and is aunt to lots of little kids and they all love her madly. She gives love and attention to each child when she sits in quiet conversation with each of them as if they were the only person in the room, when she reads them a story or plays kitchen with them. She has time for all of them (and in our house that’s about 6 little people when we are all together).

I pray that God continues to shine His grace on this Mary-child of mine, and her husband and children. Paris will be nurtured and loved in a way that will help her face the physical and emotional challenges that lie ahead for her and for them. I am in awe of the gift I have been given, and I need to remember to thank God for this. I need to remember that Julie will need me when Paris is sick, when she needs love and support, or when Mark, Cam or Ella need some extra Moma time. I need to remember all of this because Julie is there when we need her. Love you, Jewels.

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4 Responses to My Mary Child

  1. carlorustico says:

    Very, very nice, Ro.

    I have watched Julie grow from a little girl to a beautiful young woman, to a wonderful mom. And I have often told you just how much I think of her. My only regret is that distance has prevented me from knowing her better.

    And I have likewise watched the two of you through the various stages of relationship that you described. I have seen you both grow in your positions within your family and with each other. You could write a book. Hmm . . . I guess that’s what you are doing.

    Julie, I hope you realize how much I love you. And I know Paris will help many more people come to know just how special you are. God bless you, Scott and the children for opening your hearts and your home to Paris.

    Julia Roberts ain’t got nuttin’ on you, kid 🙂

  2. carlorustico says:

    Can you say, “prolific,” boys and girls? Sure. I knew you could 🙂

  3. Valerie Steverson says:

    Beautiful, beautiful. Your best post yet. Julie, God Bless you and your family. What a wonderful adventure you are on! Can’t wait to meet your newest addition!

  4. Do says:

    Very well said, sister of mine. I have long admited Julie and Scott for their parenting skills and the beautiful children they’ve raised. Paris is one fortunate little girl to have ‘found’ a Mommy and Daddy and brothers and sister who are loving, thoughtful and fun. And she gets the rest of us to boot!!!

    God Bless Julie, Scott, Mark, Cameron and Ella as they welcome Paris. God Speed, Julie, Scott and Ella…bring the best of all of us with you and give Paris a hug and kiss from Aunt Do!

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